What’s the Big Deal About The Secret?

When I was in the gift shop at the Philadelphia Visitor’s Bureau in August, I found myself surrounded by the typical patriotic souvenirs, like pictures of the Liberty Bell or reprints of the Declaration of Independence. The only thing that was completely out of the ordinary was an entire display devoted to The Secret, yes, the international best selling, self-help, You-Get-What-You-Focus-On phenomenon. What on Earth was that DVD doing next to the Thomas Jefferson t-shirts?!

For those who aren’t “in on it,” the very basic concept applied in The Secret is the Law of Attraction, or you get what you focus on. If you think negatively, you’re essentially willing negative experiences into your life. Likewise, if you focus on the positive, the doors are open for good things to come your way. It’s nothing new – plenty of self-help gurus like Tony Robbins and John Grey have been touting – but it’s never been packaged in such a way that let millions of people feel as though their lives were changed because they were privy to this so-called secret. It spread through word of mouth and I even heard people say that the only way you could get your hands on the DVD was if someone else gave it to you. Yeah, that may have been true at one point, but it’s definitely not the case now! In addition to the visitor’s bureau, I’ve seen it unusually being sold in greeting cards stores, lingerie shops and pet stores. Seriously.

The million dollar question is: Does The Secret work?

I first heard about The Secret earlier in 2007 from either a friend’s mother or on the YSN discussion forums (I don’t remember) and, shortly thereafter, a copy made its way around the office. I didn’t pay much attention to it after the first 20 minutes or so because I’ve read my fair share of self-help books so I understand the basics. But a few weeks ago, a friend (who-shall-remain-nameless — ahem, Monique!) confessed that her life has been forever changed since watching The Secret and that she hasn’t had a bad day since. The reason? Gratitude. She wakes up every day and goes over a mental list of the things she’s thankful for. That’s it. That’s her secret.

So I gave it a shot and I have to admit, I’ve been in excellent spirits ever since. Absolutely nothing in my life has changed – for better or worse – except for my “attitude of gratitude” (did I really just write that?) but I can’t say I’ve had a really bad day recently and that’s good enough for me. Think what you will about The Secret but remembering to be grateful for what we have in life – however big, small or few they may be – is something anyone can benefit from. It makes life’s challenges easier to manage and life’s rewards that much sweeter.

I just can’t guarantee it’ll help you find a closer parking space…